Last week I gave a presentation about international Websites and how to position your offering in the Web 2.0 world. One of the questions that came up was: how many blogs are out there? And does it make sense to sponsor blogs or advertise on them?
Estimating the size of the German blogosphere
Intuitively, I was sure for the U.S., Japan and China, but I was not so sure about Germany. So I tried to find out the size of the German blogossphere and came with the following contradictory numbers:
- Blogcensus is an effort to count all of the active German blogs and relies on manual inspection. Their estimate is app. 115.000 active blogs (an active blog means at least a post per month). I think this is way too low.
- The German magazine Focus claims to have counted app. 1.1 million German blogs. But I think this is way too high.
- Technorati’s “State of the Blogosphere” counted 50 millions blogs in 2006 and claims that app. 1% of blog posts were in German. With the bold assumption that the blogging frequency is the same globally, this would result in app. 500.000 blogs in German. This seems to me to be a more realistic estimate (and in line with other guestimates of other sources).
Going forward with Technorati’s numbers let’s compare the relative sizes of the blogospheres in the following countries:
Although the numbers are from 2006, I believe that the relative comparison between the different blogospheres are still true, nevertheless.
With the assumption that app. 10% of the internet users are aware of blogs and potentially read them, the relationship of writers to readers is skewed in the German blogosphere: there are many more readers than bloggers.
Consequences for international Web marketing
- In absolute and relative numbers that the German blogosphere is very, very small. It is on par with Farsi, which might overtake German in the near future: there are only 72 million people who speak Farsi compared to app. 98 million German speaking people.
- Capturing a large part of the German blogosphere is easier than in other languages, because there are fewer bloggers per potential reader.
- Other blogospheres are much larger in relation to the number of their internet users. For example the Japanese, Chinese, English or Italian blogosphere are much larger (4x to 24x times!). And blogs there are likely to attract many more visitors, too. Competition for readers is likely to be fierce in these languages.